Sunday, 19 May 2024

Middletown Unified School Board conducts planning event

MIDDLETOWN – Budget cuts are affecting school districts all over Lake County, and a planning session held last week by the Middletown Unified School District Governing Board aimed to consider solutions to the shortfalls ahead.

The board met Feb. 11 for their annual strategic planning event to gather input on the direction for the district, according to district Superintendent Korby Olson.

With the long range forecast for the budget looking bleak, ways to save money while still providing high quality learning dominated the discussion, Olson said.

Olson said the school site councils from all of the schools and some other individuals were invited to attend the meeting and look at several key areas including, school configuration, fiscal solvency, educational options, student learning, technology projects and facilities.

The topic of school configuration was a discussion focus. Olson said ideas ranged from closing schools to grade reconfiguration to maximize resources. The fate of Cobb Elementary and Minnie Cannon Elementary were both discussed as the group grappled with the expense of operating small schools.

Olson said no decisions were made at the meeting, but the sentiment was clear that other options for decreasing costs should be considered before closing schools.

Cobb has been among the highest performing schools in the region and the top performer in Lake County since the Academic Performance Index was introduced, Olson said. A new school facility for Minnie Cannon is in the planning stages, so closing either school is no longer being considered.

Another topic of note was a discussion of increasing the Middletown High School graduation requirements to align with the requirements for admission to the University of California and California State University systems. Olson said several other districts in the state have made this move to assure that all students who graduate have the option to attend a university.

The board looked at other cost saving and revenue generating ideas, including charging a fee for bus transportation. Olson said the board has considered charging fees for bus rides in the past, but felt that they had not had enough input from parents on the topic to consider this option.

In other action, newly appointed Board member Lynette Carrillo took the oath of office.

Olson said the planning meeting took the place of the regular business meeting, so a board meeting was scheduled for Feb. 25 in the Middletown multi-use room at 7 p.m. Middletown Unified School District is located at 20932 Big Canyon Road. For more information call the district at 987-4100 or visit


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